From the outside looking in it can often seem as if a Christian life lived according to God’s commands is a restrictive life.
If you haven’t really read much of the Bible you probably still have heard of the Ten Commandments which God gave to His people Israel to show them how they were to live way back in the Old Testament. I was having a conversation with a friend recently about the must nots of dating relationships as laid out by God.
Specifically, God made clear that a man and a woman are the picture of marriage and that sex was made for their fulfilment in marriage. My friend proposed that a loving God would allow us to find happiness in relationships at any cost. All I could think was, you don’t know what you’re missing!
There have been times in life when I have held on so tightly to things in this world—to relationships, career paths, to expectations of how my life should turn out. I know well the fight to try to deafen God’s voice and to move ahead with my own plans and ideas. There is so much pain, grief and heartache when the small voice of the Holy Spirit comes and whispers to me to let go—to let go of something I really want, that I’m banking will bring me happiness and success.
A better way
I imagine Jesus coming close to me, bending his knee and asking so softly for me to let go of a beloved toy. There’s tears and I’m ashamed to say there’s often really big, embarrassing tantrums but He is not trying to torture me as His child. Jesus always calls me to let go of something because what He has planned is better.
He trades insecurity and hoarding things to myself for safety in His love and for generosity. He invites me to give up the gunk and sin clogging up my life and trades it for peace and freedom. He trades my hopes and dreams for an eternal mission and purpose. He trades things for a deep understanding of Himself and His love for me. Isaiah 61 says “The Spirit of the LORD is on me, He has anointed me to care for the needs of all who mourn in Zion, give them bouquets of roses instead of ashes, messages of joy instead of news of doom, a praising heart instead of a languid spirit.”
My prayer is that God will continue to put His finger on things in my life that I need to let go of in order that I might experience the complete and full life Christ offers instead of the half-baked life of living for myself.
Hannah Edwards has recently graduated from theological studies, is an avid shopper and is learning to cook. She is currently ministering to women in Brisbane in both church and community spheres, empowering women to reach their fullest potential. Hannah is also the founder of the online community Harvest Joy Women. Further material is available from www.harvestjoywomen.com